The Top 5 Things to Do in Houston This Weekend: D. L. Hughley, The Painting and More

Ubiquitous comedian D.L. Hughley is making his second stop in Houston this year with a holiday run that includes a Friday night show and, later in the week, two New Year's Eve shows. The author of I Want You to Shut the F#ck Up: How the Audacity of Dopes Is Ruining America, Hughley finished in ninth place on the mega-hit reality television show Dancing With The Stars this year.

"We live in a world where reality shows now are the fare of the day, and everything's kind of a derivative of it," he reflected, laughing during a CNN interview. "Our country is so devoid of actually 'living' that we go home to watch other people live. We DVR other people living. And now, you have serious news anchors--or, people that are supposed to be serious news anchors--telling you about the most asinine, banal bullshit you've ever seen in your life. And they have to actually cover it! Do you think Dan Rather would ever think he would have to say 'Snooki' in a sentence? And be serious?"

8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday, 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday, 7:30 p.m. Sunday, 7:30 and 10 p.m. Tuesday. Houston Improv, 7620 Katy Freeway. For information, call 713-333-8800 or visit improvhouston.com. $30 to $70.

Our first choice for Saturday is Jean-François Laguionie's 2011 animated masterpiece, The Painting ("Le Tableau"), is set in an unfinished painting hanging in an artist's room. There, the classes of people are divided by the completeness of their rendering. There are the ruling Alldunns (the fully flushed-out artistic creations), and the oppressed Halfies (unfinished images) and Sketchies (rough outlines). A small group, driven from society for intermingling, journey from the painting in search of their creator, hoping that he can fix their world and end the conflict.

The Painting is among the most beautiful animated films to be released in the past three decades and its breathtaking execution contains an homage to artists like Marc Chagall, Amedeo Modigliani, Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse.

1 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-639-7300 or visit mfah.org. Free with paid museum admission ($6 to $13).

The artists included in "Revisiting the Lizard Cult: Lee Baxter Davis, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Robyn O'Neil, Georganne Deen and Gary Panter", on view at The Brandon gallery and another of our choices for Saturday, share some background but have created art that is uniquely their own. The show includes work by artist/teacher Lee Baxter Davis and some of his former students, now all active artists distributed around the country: Trenton Doyle, Robyn O'Neil, Georganne Deen and Gary Panter. Their paths crossed at East Texas State University (now Texas A&M Commerce), where Davis worked as an art teacher.

The four students included in this show each incorporated the lessons they learned there into their future work, resulting in provocative, beautiful, quirky and fun art. Each artist has a distinctive style while clearly keeping in touch with the Lizard Cult of their student days.

11 am to 7 pm Thursdays through Sundays. Through January 18. 1709 Westheimer. For information, call 713-522-0369 or visit thebrandoncontemporary.com. Free.

One of our choices for Sunday started off in the original Broadway cast of Jersey Boys - Christian Hoff, Michael Longoria, Daniel Reichard and J. Robert Spencer, the quartet now known as The Midtown Men. With smooth harmonies, the group performs tunes made popular by The Four Seasons, The Beatles, and Elvis Presley, along with Motown hits from the 1960s. For this stop, they'll also throw in a few holiday classics. Slick and suave with a hint of Rat Pack cool, the group puts on quite a show.

4 p.m. The Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Postoffice St., Galveston. For information, call 800-821-1894 or visit thegrand.com. $39 to $98.

"NeoPopStreetFunk 5," one of our choices for Sunday closes on January 5 so get out and see it this weekend. Curators Nicky Davis and Kevin Sechelski started their own group show when they found a lack of local exhibiting opportunities. Focusing on guerrilla art with an attitude, the two called it "NeoPopStreetFunk" in order to cover the range of styles it included. This year the duo has put together a collection of work from 22 artists including DUAL (Houston), Kristopher Kotcher (Ho Chi Minh City), Graham Franciose (Austin), Alex Yanes (Miami) and organizers Davis and Sechelski.

10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Through January 5. Gallery M Squared, 339 West 19th. For information, call 713-861-6070 or visit neopopstreetfunk.com. Free.

Nancy Ford, Jef with One F and Randy Tibbits contributed to this post.

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